Recent entries

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9651 Copy

    Herowannabe

    What happens when a blind person burns Gold- especially of he "sees" a version of himself that isn't blind? Can he see the other version or just hear/feel/sense him? What about the other version, can it see things? Could a blind person use gold in this way to see the world around him?

    Brandon Sanderson

    A blind person would indeed sense these things, but not have the vision with the eyes. In the same way that a blind person still dreams, but doesn't "See" in them. (As I understand it.) I'd suggest talking to someone who is blind and getting their take on how this would work.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9652 Copy

    Herowannabe

    I recently picked up the Mistborn Adventure game and am loving it. I made a character who is a blind Mistborn because hey, I thought it would make for some interesting possibilities. As I understand Allomancy, he can hear/sense well enough to get around with Tin, plus even though he's blind he can still "see" steel lines (like the inquisitors), and I assume Atium would work the same way- that is, he could still "see" Atium shadows. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, you're right. That works. He'd have to burn metals a LOT though. It might warp him a little. :)

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9654 Copy

    theFinisher4Ever

    Was the Lord Ruler using Feruchemy + Allomancy to Soothe all of the people around him? Or was he, as I like to think, flaring for so long that he became a Soother Savant?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He lived long enough and used his metals enough (particularly Soothing) to become nearly a savant in every area, if not a full savant.

    Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
    #9657 Copy

    yulerule

    *Written:* How much compounding would a nicrosil Twinborn would need to do to get a metalmind that is as Invested as Nightblood?

    Brandon Sanderson

    *Reading question:* How much compounding would... *mumbling*

    Wow, so much.

    *Writes:* Wow so much. 

    yulerule

    *Written:* A thousand breaths doesn't seem to be that much--the God King has tens of thousands. Would a piece of stone, wood, cloth, or plain metal that has a thousand breaths be as Invested as Nightblood, or is there something more? 

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, it needs more. Needs more.

    *Writes:* Needs more.

    yulerule

    More?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah.

    yulerule

    Does that-- is it taking stuff from people it kills?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's a RAFO, good question.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9663 Copy

    Ravi

    If Odium were lured to Scadrial, would his physical body turn into a burnable metal?

    If so, could Harmony create an Odium-metal legion of Mistings to consume and burn it?

    Would that weaken him sufficiently enough to be killed or destroyed?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The difficulty here is, again, one of Identity. People born on Scadrial have an Identity tied to it and its magic. Odium would have to do certain things to make them able to use a magic he fuels. He has done these things on Roshar, so it's not impossible for him to manage it on Scadrial.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9665 Copy

    Chaos

    You have said the Scadrians on the southern continent does have interaction with the Metallic Arts, but use them in very different ways. Does this mean there are different, for example, Allomantic abilities for those Scadrians? Or is it more a cultural thing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The abilities are the same. The way they harness and use them, though, is different...

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9666 Copy

    AptoCanavalian

    Dear Brandon, If you could have a dinner party with six of the characters that you have written about, which six would you choose and why? Would your answer change if the party was in someone else's house?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, it would be tough--I'd have to decide if I wanted the party to be crazy, interesting, or low risk.

    For example, inviting Hoid and Kelsier to the same party could result in murdering. Having Sazed around with someone like Jasnah would lead to some great discussions of philosophy.

    unknown

    Wait--are you implying Hoid and Kelsier would want to murder each other, or that they would team up to murder other people?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hoid and Kelsier do not get along. At all.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9667 Copy

    samwisevimes

    I had a question about the Parshendi, do they have a negotiating form? I ask because it seems they must have shifted forms before/just after the betrayal and are now stuck in war form, but if they had the ability to negotiate before why not now?

    Brandon Sanderson

    More of this will be answered in book two. They aren't 'stuck' in warform, but do have limited options.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9669 Copy

    Nepene

    In Warbreaker Lightsong mentions that the Returned's forms are dependent on contemporary beauty standards. In the Emperor's Soul Shai implies that if others did not find the Emperor's Soul plausible it would not take as well. Is my reading of their statements correct, is their magic dependent on how others view you as well as how you view yourself?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. This is a factor.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9670 Copy

    Nepene

    In The Emperor's Soul and Elantris the magic systems have very different methods and powers, though both work through symbols. Assuming they adapted the symbols to their local geography could they use each other's methods? Could an Elantrian forge a soulstamp say?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Birth in a certain location on Sel gives a certain affinity for the local symbols, and their usage. To use the magic of another region, one would need to have a rewritten connection to that area instead.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9671 Copy

    Nepene

    You've said you want to write a book set in the Southern Continent. I did enjoy the Emperor's Soul a lot, so I am curious about you writing that future book. How do they use magic differently, and why should we be excited about reading a book set there?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The southern continent is where people have discovered how to harness the metallurgic arts in a more mechanical method. (I've hinted several places that this is possible. I've been holding off doing it until we go here.)

    Chaos

    About the southern continent, would it be possible for other Scadrians to discover this method of using the Metallic Arts, or is it unique to the southern Scadrians?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is technology-based rather than genetics based.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9672 Copy

    Nepene

    If Ruin had won, what would his long term goals for the Cosmere be?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ruin's goals and motives were about fulfilling the needs of the Shard inside of him. It overwhelmed his personality, and corrupted him. He would seek for all things to be reduced to a state of entropic equilibrium.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9673 Copy

    Nepene

    You've mentioned several philosophical concepts used in the writing of your books, like Jung's collective unconsciousness, Plato's cave. Could you expand a bit on your use of those in your books, and whether you think it is necessary to use philosophy to make a good fantasy world?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't think it's necessary at all. The writer's own fascinations--whatever they are--can add to the writing experience. But yes, some philosophical ideas worked into my fiction. Plato's theory of the forms has always fascinated, and so the idea of a physical/cognitive/spiritual realm is certainly a product of this. Human perception of ideals has a lot to do with the cognitive realm, and a true ideal has a lot to do with the spiritual realm.

    As for more examples, they're spread through my fiction. Spinoza is in there a lot, and Jung has a lot to do with the idea of spiritual connectivity (and how the Parshendi can all sing the same songs.)

    Nepene

    Not completely sure where Spinoaza comes in. I guess the shards are part of the natural world and have no personality without a human wielder.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes on Spinoza there, and also the idea of God being in everything, and everything of one substance. Unifying laws. Those sorts of things. (Less his determinism, though.)

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9674 Copy

    ryanthelion

    I know that you are very meticulous in developing your stories. Were the shardblades, shardplate, mistborn cloaks, or even Nightblood from Warbreaker developed in a similar fashion, or is it a more organic process to making cool weapons and armor? How do you blur the line between what makes sense, and what is just plain fun?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are connections in the things you mentioned above, though I don't want to speak of specifics yet for risk of spoiling future revelations.

    As for blurring the line between what makes sense and what is fun...I err on the side of the fun. However, part of my meticulous planning is about how to make the fun make sense. I feel that is part of what makes this genre interesting. I decided I wanted to do a story about the Knights Radiant, with the Plate and Blades. From there, I spent a long time thinking about what would make those kinds of weapons reasonable and important to a society.

    You can do anything, but do try to focus on laying your groundwork and being consistent.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9676 Copy

    Satsuoni

    You have mentioned that certain spren are an embodiment of concepts. How does that work for the concepts like honour, that can mean opposite things to different culture groups?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Human perception has a lot to do with why spren act like they do...

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9680 Copy

    Satsuoni

    You said that every person on Scadrial has a bit of Preservation in them. It is possible, then, to accumulate enough Hemalurgic charge from killing normal people by, say, steel spike (at once, or in order), to make that spike grant Allomancy? Building on this, is it possible for the spike to accumulate charge while being imbedded in acceptor body, by killing people with the protruding end?

    Brandon Sanderson

    My, you're making the Scadrial magic systems sound a lot like the one from Nalthis.... Hm....

    /r/fantasy AMA 2011 ()
    #9681 Copy

    phrakture

    You seem to be adept at creating interesting magic systems for your worlds - what is your creative process for creating something of this sort? Any hints as to what the next one might involve?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Next two magic systems you might see:

    1) Disease magic. Bacteria have evolved to the point that they try to keep their hosts alive by granting them magical powers while you have the disease. So, you catch a cold, and can fly until you get over it.

    2) I've got a a very cool 'throwing spheres of light' magic that I'm working on...which, when you break it down, was inspired by seeing how accurate baseball pitchers were and thinking about how that could be weaponized in a fantasy world.

    3) That guy with his ice soap has me thinking about "freezing stuff in water" magic. Like, potions that do things only after they thaw...

    /r/fantasy AMA 2011 ()
    #9682 Copy

    shdwfeather

    One of the things I really like about your books is the creative and immersive backdrop that the stories take place in. I know you spend a lot of time (and words!) on the background material for these worlds. Will you ever publish your world-building notes?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'd like to someday. The reason I haven't yet is because many of them contain cosmere-related notes that give huge spoilers for other books. I could just expunge those, but I feel it better to let things grow a little more and then do some worldbooks. The Mistborn RPG coming out this year is half worldbook, though, and has a lot of setting information from my notes.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2011 ()
    #9683 Copy

    luxgladius

    Do you already have a fully fleshed-out idea of all 10 orders of the Knights Radiant, or are you still coming up with them and their Ideals?

    Brandon Sanderson

    All ten orders are finished and worldbuilt. (I feel pretty good about them.) However, I could decide to move some things around as I write.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2011 ()
    #9684 Copy

    unknown

    Was Vallano, Szeth's grandfather, also a Truthless? And if not, what did he do to disgrace the Shin?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, Vallano was not Truthless.

    Szeth was a very respected member of his society, once. There are clues to what happened in his story, but you won't hear it in full until he gets his book. (Which will include his flashbacks.)

    /r/fantasy AMA 2011 ()
    #9685 Copy

    Renian

    When will we see a book that basically revolves around the concept of the Cosmere and the shard-travelers? Basically, a book revolving around people like Hoid who can jump from shard to shard.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Third Mistborn Trilogy involves a lot of this. I MIGHT do some parallel stories showing more of what Hoid has been up to. He is a primary viewpoint protagonist of Dragonsteel, but that happens before all of the other books.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2011 ()
    #9688 Copy

    blorcit

    I've seen in your answers to previous questions that you are always open to changing aspects of your story so long as it's not already written in another book, or more importantly so that it doesn't contradict what the reader already knows.

    That being said, how much of the Cosmere and its story would you say you already have a plan for? For example, do you more or less already know how each world and story ties into one another, or is that something that changes as you write? Given that there seem to be some constants in this universe (the number of shards, etc.), is there an end to these stories as a whole, or is it an ever-expanding universe?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Things do change as I evolve as a writer.

    There is an end to this story. Dragonsteel-Kings-Mistborn are all fairly well planned out, but I must allow myself flexibility.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2011 ()
    #9689 Copy

    FirstRyder

    This series will apparently be 10 books long, and for in-world reasons having it end up 9 or 11 books long would be inauspicious. Do you think you'll regret setting a pretty firm length on it, fifteen years down the road?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Honestly, I'll let myself drop by a few books if the story demands. I won't inflate it to ten if, in the long run, the story just can't hold it up. Right now, though, I've got a really solid outline.

    It's ten books, though in my mind, there are really two five book arcs.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2011 ()
    #9692 Copy

    Chaos

    Allomancy provides many very dramatic effects, which some have noted is not very much like Preservation. Could you walk me through how Allomancy is of Preservation, though it does dramatic, dynamic things?

    Brandon Sanderson

    One of the 'basics' of the magic in all of the worlds is that the energy of Shards can fuel all kinds of interactions, not just interactions based on their personality/role. I did this because otherwise, the Magics would all be extremely limited.

    The 'role' of the Shard has to do with the WAY the magic is obtained, not what it can do. So, in Preservation's case, the magic is a gift--allowing a person to preserve their own strength, and rely upon the strength granted by the magic. While Hemalurgy has a huge cost, ending in net entropy.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2011 ()
    #9693 Copy

    Chaos

    Can Hoid jump through time? If so, can Shards jump through time?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hoid, so far, has only moved forward in time. He has not 'lived' all of those years, but has used some time dilation techniques. That said, he is far older (both in relative and real time) than a normal person can live.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2011 ()
    #9694 Copy

    unknown

    How often is a "weeping" in Way of Kings?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Once a year. Opposite it in the year is an extremely powerful highstorm.

    eri_pl

    When, relatively to the events in Way of Kings is/will be the nearest Weeping? (I ask, because I started wondering, if this powerful storm was, coincidentally, the one, during which... you know... the face in the clouds and all that.)

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, there are ten months in year. If I haven't mentioned dates in the last book (I may or may not have) I am planning to in the next. So a timeline should be possible for fans to figure out...

    /r/fantasy AMA 2011 ()
    #9695 Copy

    sandersonfan

    You've mentioned that other books in the Stormlight Archive will have different characters as their focus, is this linked to the 10 orders of the Knights Radiant? Or is this just coincidence?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is linked. I may not be able to completely link it, but I'm going to try. The first book's symbol (on the front) is the symbol of the Windrunners.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2011 ()
    #9697 Copy

    sandersonfan

    I've read that you were thinking of 32-36 books total for the Cosmere, but it seems like the series are going to go beyond that if numbers you've given before are published (e.g. Mistborn being a trilogy of trilogies so 9, Stormlight Archive 10, Warbreaker 2, Dragonsteel 6 or 7, and still White Sand and others to come) so has the estimate of 32 been thrown out the window?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Eh...I don't know. My original breakdown:

    Mistborn 9 Wabreaker 2 Elantris 3 White Sand 3 Stormlight 10 Silence Divine 1 Dragonsteel 7 (A two book and a five book.)

    That's the 32, with allowances for a few side stories to get us to 36. There are planets not included in that, however, that I may write stories about. So maybe. But the core cycle is this (in order)

    Dragonsteel Mistborn first trilogy Stormlight - Mistborn second trilogy (around the same time.) Mistborn third trilogy.

    Everything else is important in their own stories, but as we're talking about the connections between the worlds are considered, this is the prime cosmere cycle.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2011 ()
    #9698 Copy

    sandersonfan

    Why are the people of Roshar so much more aware of the Cosmere? They seem to know more than any other world you've written to date.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I believe the people of whom you are speaking are mostly not native to Roshar. On another side, however, it is the first planet we've seen with three Shards, and it is the furthest along in the timeline. One final thing is that they had some very unique experiences early in the planet's history. It involves the Heralds, and various items I think would be spoilers right now.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2011 ()
    #9699 Copy

    Yserbius

    What made you decide on a 10 book length for The Stormlight Archive? Do you have the entire thing planned out, including how it will be paced and plotted?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I had eight characters I wanted to tell a story about, and wanted to give each one a book to include flashbacks and specific character development. Once I got to outlining, I realized that I had material for about ten books, and ten was a very special number in the world. So I settled on that.

    It will be paced and plotted much as the first, though I plan the future books to be a little shorter than the first establishing one. There will be two primary five-book arcs, so you could consider it two series of five, if you'd prefer.